Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
March 1, 2024

Alexander Bublik – Semifinals Press Conference – 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

2024 Men's Singles Semifinal: A. BUBLIK/A. Rublev 6-7, 7-6, 6-5 (default)

Alexander Bublik

THE MODERATOR: We’ll start with the first question.

Q. Can you give us your reaction to how the match ended.

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: Well, it’s really tough to say anything right now because, I mean, I highly doubt that Andrey said something crazy. He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow up the procedure.

There’s not much to say. With all due respect, it was a great match and both of us deserved to win. The crowd was there. We could have played one of the greatest matches we played against each other in a packed crowd in Dubai. It’s a pity it’s ended like this.

I wish Andrey to get back on track as soon as possible because we have a Masters around the corner. That’s all I can say.

Q. With how things turned out, would you prefer to have all electronic refereeing to avoid such instances?

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: Of course, I mean, because that’s the human effect I would say. Of course, he may get a mistake. The umpire, someone can hear something wrong. It was not that. I’m not sure. The other guy came. Not the umpire Andrey was talking to, but the other guy came in.

So for me, the human factor is always there on both sides, our side. I had also a certain talk with the chair umpire because she gave me the different information. That’s why I was frustrated. I also received an unsportsmanlike conduct. But that’s life. That’s a human effect that we have.

Of course, we would definitely not have it if we had electronic line calling.

Q. You’re proud of yourself because this is your third or fourth match coming back from a set down this year? Quite a few matches that you’re fighting through from a set down, which is something new.

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: Obviously I think we both played well. As I said, we both deserved to win. Yeah, I think I changed my mind a little bit in terms of tennis. I really wanted to play less and make more points, so I’m fighting better.

I won Montpellier. I made final with two pity outcomes in the quarters. Then today. But I have to take it. I was playing well. There’s not much to say honestly. For me, I would have preferred to lose 7-6 in the third than to win the match like this.

Q. I think you secured your top 20 debut. You’re the first player in ATP ranking history from Kazakhstan to do that. Are these kind of milestones important for you?

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: I think I was knocking the door for a very long time already. Since Halle last year I was 25, 23, 24. I basically need what I have now. I’m going to be, what, 19, 20, something like this, because I won’t be higher than that. I’m going to have a Halle win, Antwerp win, Montpelier win, two or three semifinals, a final minimum here, and I’m 19 in the world.

For me, I thought it was going to be a bit easier when I was looking at the rankings. Yeah, I mean, of course it’s a great milestone for me. Small steps. I’m always looking for the small steps.

Q. I’m curious, with the thing about the new balls, did you understand that the tiebreak doesn’t count as a game?

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: Even if the tiebreak doesn’t count as a game, she told me it’s going to be three games. If we calculate it, game at 5-4, game at 5-All, game at 6-5. It’s already three games.

I mean, she was just telling me, If it is the tiebreak, we’re not going to change. Then we would not see me breaking a racquet, which of course I’m not happy to do. I’m not happy to talk to the umpire receiving unsportsmanlike saying goddammit. She heard something else. Actually it’s good that on the video, I looked, because I was totally sure I didn’t say any bad words, any F bombs. She was telling me this. I review it.

That wouldn’t happen because I would be aware. I changed the racquet. I go there, I see, Okay, it’s not the new balls. I have to reset because with new balls you have different tactics. Of course, I lost the break, I got frustrated.

As I said, it’s a human factor. There’s nothing we can do. It’s a tight match against someone you know for all your life. So, yeah, it’s just tough.

Q. You saved seven break points. Even though you were arguing with the chair umpire and stuff, how did you keep your cool?


Q. You looked to someone and said, At 5-All we get new balls. How did you find that kind of calm?

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: Luck. I mean, just pure luck. Andrey is hitting second-serve winners on every second ball. I was super lucky. I was making jokes. Okay, I yelled at the umpire. Probably shouldn’t do it. I tried to make jokes with her as well and with Roland, the supervisor. I give to him a racquet, say to him, Keep it please for good counting.

I did it already. I said what I said. I got the code. I broke the racquet. It’s going to be viral everywhere. Every media will talk about it again.

I just tried to get over it because it’s just a little thing that happened. I mean, there is no hard feelings with the umpire whatsoever.

Q. Tomorrow you aim for your second ATP 500 title. Tell us about your preparation for tomorrow.

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: There’s always the routine we do every day. I just follow up the same thing, just try to get ready for tomorrow.

Q. Right after the match, Davidovich Fokina said this disqualification was unfair, that we need VAR in tennis. What are your thoughts on that?

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: I’m honestly always against tweeting, posting, talking. For me, there is not much need to do it. Same happened with Sascha when he broke the racquet off the umpire chair.

I think we should not be really talking about. I think the players, especially colleagues, because we all know each other, it’s not easy if someone give a burst of this even more.

I cannot comment anything of what Alejandro said on the Twitter. It’s his opinion. I’m not going to comment on that.

Q. Do you agree there should be electronic line calling as against humans?

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: We have this proof every week that when the tournament is with electronic line calling, we don’t have these troubles. Players are not getting crazy. It’s our passion. We play for this. We lived for this. We grew up dreaming to be playing these stadiums.

Then some guy who is working for three years as a line judge, staying there deciding something. He could be late. Late calls happens all the time, especially on clay court. Then you come up to the situation like this. Is it fault of Andrey? Maybe. Is it fault of the umpire? Maybe.

If we take the umpire out, we cannot take off Andrey. That is the thing. We cannot take off players. Players will be there. It’s tennis because of the players, because we are playing this sport, not the opposite way around.

We can take any umpire away. Basically there’s a system that will call and this situation would never happen. Not this particular one or any other ones. What happened with other players, with me myself, other guys, it’s only because someone made a mistake in the important moment, then you just lose it because you’ve been fighting three hours, then this happens.

You lose the points, you’re bad in the media, which I hate. It’s just listening to someone else’s opinion on a daily basis. For me it’s ridiculous.

This is what we need to understand, that we cannot take players away, but we can easily take away the umpires, and that would solve many issues.

Q. Do you prefer to play someone you played already five times in the past or…

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: It’s between Daniil and Ugo?

Q. Yes.

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: Well, you never know. Daniil is a great champion, Grand Slam winner. I don’t know, 15 Grand Slam finals, all these 20 tournaments he won and couldn’t defend one. Maybe can be a little tricky.

I mean, I don’t really care because it’s a finals already. Finals are played differently. You can always see upsets in the finals. Not the slam ones. Usually the normal finals are a lot of upsets. Everyone is proving that.

For me, I just try to think about myself and get ready for the match.

Q. On what you said about the line judges, from a different sense, do you see there should be in general accountability over outbursts? There’s the line umpire there, you’re saying this wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t there, but also there’s someone screaming in his face. Where is the level of accountability that should be there?

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: Well, so if we talking about this particular topic, it’s not the line judge that got screamed on came to the umpire. So we have to put this into the conversation. It’s not the line judge who got screamed on went there. It’s the other guy did. So this we have to talk about.

Of course, we can say, Oh, he should have control himself. Have you been there? Have you stayed there for three hours? Want to go top three, top four, win a match, go to another final, win a match, at the end make points, make money, win the tightest match he had this week. We don’t talk about that.

Of course, we can say, He shouldn’t act… Well, people shouldn’t do many things. At the end in this particular case, it’s not the guy who got screamed on came to the chair umpire and said so. So this is what I think we should be taking care of.

Q. I wonder how much of the match and how it ended stays with you as you leave today and come back tomorrow for the final? Is it something that you can forget, given that you are also given to outbursts yourself? Is it something that’s going to stay with you?

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: Of course, I’m going to forget this in five minutes when you stop asking me questions. Honestly, like if I’m going to think about everything I did in my life or other things, other people doing things, I mean, I’m going to get crazy (smiling).

For me, it happened. It’s like this. I got huge fines for doing things that you should not even be fined for this, in my opinion. You just get over it. It’s happened.

I said some words to Andrey. I said things to Roland, my thoughts about it. Didn’t work. Didn’t help. Me at least, I was honest with Andrey, with Roland, who made the ultimate decision as a supervisor.

But we can’t change anything. That’s the rules, that’s the procedure. They are deciding this. It makes no sense to talk further about this.

Q. You don’t feel elated you’re in the ATP Final?

ALEXANDER BUBLIK: Well, I played my long-time friend, a person I know for 15 years. We played in front of basically a home crowd because I’ve seen so many familiar faces. It was packed. It’s supposed to went to the distance of three breakers. It ended like this.

How can I be happy sitting here and saying I did so good, I’m such a good player, I’m happy to be in the finals? I just can’t to it. It’s just against me.

I take it. I have to play tomorrow. First of all, you just can’t be happy about this outcome because both of us deserved to win, we should go to the breaker, then we would decide who have bigger things. I’m not going to mention what we have bigger.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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